It’s interesting to see how sometimes a metaphor can be more powerful than the literal idea. That looks like what we’re about to face this week, when Speed Racer, the story of a boy who’s really into amazing cars goes up against a man who’s lost his heart, and must cover himself in metal in order to find it again.
Looking at the reviews, especially this one, in the New York Times, it’s pretty obvious that things aren’t looking good for the new film from the Wachowskis. That’s not to say that reviews are always right, but sometimes you read line that perfectly captures your fears:
But at least those cars — including Speed’s Mach 5, faithfully replicated from the old cartoons — move. When it comes to storytelling, “Speed Racer” has nothing in common with its title. Not only does it surpass the grinding tedium of “The Matrix Revolutions,” but it does so with far less excuse.
But “Speed Racer” is about a boy driving a car, surely a subject that cries out for linearity, simplicity, velocity. Instead the first half-hour layers flashbacks with portentous foreshadowings, generating pointless confusion about who is doing what and why.
As many times as people may tell you to “turn off your brains” I still find it almost unbearable when an action movie starts to drag. It doesn’t need to be wall to wall action, but it’s important that there’s something entertaining happening in between the thrill ride. An audience needs a reason to care, and they need to have a stake in the outcome.
That said I still want to see this film at some point. I’m curious about the camera effects and the unique transitions.